Allen ISD opens new STEAM Center

A new learning facility for students as young as first grade in Allen is dedicated to STEAM learning.

The Allen ISD STEAM Center opened earlier this month for elementary campuses to visit. But the center is really designed to help high school students with science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

It features a fossil wall, a 250-seat theater, an OmniGlobe, outdoor classrooms, science labs, physics labs, collaborative workspaces and more.

FOX 4’s Hanna Battah got a demonstration of the high-tech OmniGlobe. It can be programmed to display everything from the map of the world to the Death Star.

"There are only 178 OmniGlobes that have been produced in the world and we are lucky enough to have one. This is kind of our field trip here at the STEAM Center that the students get to take and travel everywhere," said Courtney Sharkey, the administrator for the center.

With just a touch of a button, students can change the display on the globe. They can learn about ocean currents, weather patterns or even show off their artwork.

"So obviously every educational but also very engaging," Sharkey said. 

Hanna also met with second graders from Preston Elementary who got a first look at the STEAM Center Thursday morning. The district hopes it will empower them to try challenging concepts and inspire them to pursue new careers.

“This experience is just like having a children’s museum right here in Allen,” said Preston Elementary Principal Johnna Walker.

Allen ISD expects up to 500 high school students per class period will begin utilizing the facility during the 2019 fall semester.